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Ig                                POLITICAL SCIENCE.
versed in public affairs, and gathering together more politi-
cal experience than any other assembly of public nu-n mulct
any form of government whatsoever, were nut ih*^e nf law-
makers, but of a council of administration. With thr COIIMI-
lar or republican constitution the importance of thr M<n,ite
increased, and a still greater increase uf iu imptMt.mce \v*it
due to the growth of the territory ami revenues ami ihr vast
amount of the internal and external affairs nf Rmin* requiring
attention. The senate was in truth the ^nvrrnin^ institution
at Rome, and it gave unity, sy*tem, strength, t** the slate,
more than anything else*
The principal functions of the senate, when it had rrachcd
its full efficiency, or from the second I'unic war onward, were
the following: (i.) It had a general superintendence* mrt the
state religion.    Thus in 327 U, C, the aulilcs were directed
to see to it that none but Roman {jwla should be worshipped,
and they only after the ancestral manner.   (Uv,, ivM y*.)   In
568 U* C., the Scnatus consultant tier IltcchanalihtiH, which
5s still extant, was made in order to prevent the spread of the
immoral and politically dangerous orgie* f Itaccluii, ivhich
had recently got a foothold in Italy, and even in the city of
Rome itself,    (Livy, xxxtx. 8-t8.)    (2,) Foreign adairn fell
to a great extent within the province of the senate* ami its
principal business was of this description*   in regard to the
declaration of war, however, it had no absolute and final de-
cision.    Even under the king* the pupulu* was consulted as
to whether a war should be undertaken ; and therefore, when,
in the year of the city 327, according to Livy's account (iv.(
30), there was a controversy whether war should be declared
by the people or whether a resolution of the senate wan suffi
cient, we must probably regard the war as a continuation of
an earlier one, which truce had only interrupted.    Such con-
flicts might naturally arise without an assumption on the part
of the senate, from the indefiniteness of administrative power;
or a provincial governor might provoke a war for which im-
mediate measures of the state might be necessary.    War be-
ing declared or already on foot, the senate decided on the